Learn how to freeze bell peppers to use in various recipes like stir-fries, fajitas, soups, stews, and chili. Freeze them whole for stuffed peppers or dice them up to add a delicious flavor to any dish.
Table of Contents
Often you may have pieces left over after making a recipe. Don’t let a delicious fresh bell pepper go to waste! Instead of discarding them, save them for later.
Freezing bell peppers is a great way to preserve the colorful ingredient while saving prep time and money. Frozen bell peppers can be defrosted, or smaller pieces can be tossed directly into a pan while cooking.
Wash the bell peppers
Before freezing the peppers, wash them well with cool water. This will help to remove any dirt and debris. You’ll want to be able to use them immediately during your following recipe. Dry the peppers with a paper towel so that the moisture on the surface doesn’t cause them to become too icy.
Cut the bell peppers
Make sure to trim away any bruised areas or soft spots. Cut bell peppers to the desired shape and size; either rings, slices, dice, or pieces. Sliced peppers can be tossed into stir-fries or quick fajitas. Diced peppers can but used for soups, stews, pasta dishes, sauces, or dips. Pieces can be roasted or grilled.
Use a tray to freeze pieces
Place the prepared bell pepper in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. This tray-freezing method solidifies the peppers before placing them into a bag or storage container to prevent sticking. Depending on the size, it takes about 1 to 2 hours for the pieces to harden.
Immediately transfer to a resealable freezer bag, silicone bag, glass, or plastic container. Work quickly! Press out any air before sealing to reduce freezer burn if using a bag.
Freezing whole peppers
Whole peppers can be frozen—slice about 1/2-inch from the stem end, reserving the top. Use a paring knife to cut out the membrane, then use a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Place the lid on top, wrap the whole pepper in plastic wrap, then transfer to a freezer bag.
Alternatively, they can also be halved lengthwise, cleaned, then wrapped. They are great to use for stuffing, roasting, or grilling. Very small peppers or hot peppers can be frozen whole and frosted before use.
Storing frozen peppers
You can freeze fresh peppers for about 6 months when properly stored. The key is to remove as much air as possible from the plastic bag to reduce freezer burn.
Thicker containers like silicone bags, glass, or plastic will reduce airflow and the impact of temperature changes in a cold environment. As the drawers are opened and closed over time, these materials help to keep the quality of the frozen produce better.
How to thaw frozen bell peppers
- Refrigerator: Place the frozen peppers in the fridge to defrost for about 1 to 2 hours, or overnight.
- Room Temperature: Defrost at room temperature. About 15 to 30 minutes for slices or dices, and 1 hour for larger pieces. Do not leave at room temperature for longer than 2 hours.
- Cold Water: Add the frozen peppers still in the storage bag, and submerge them in a bowl of cold water. Change out the water every 10 minutes. About 10 minutes for slices and diced, and about 30 minutes for larger pieces.
- Microwave: Defrost the peppers on a plate at 50% power in 30 to 60-second intervals until thawed.
Ways to use frozen bell peppers
There are various ways to use frozen bell peppers. They will retain some texture but will not be as crispy compared to fresh. I prefer to use them in cooked dishes, dips, soups, or stews. Try these delicious recipes:
- Stuffed bell peppers with ground beef or turkey
- Slow cooker breakfast casserole
- Gumbo or jambalaya
- Vegetarian chili or turkey chili
- Mongolian beef or kung pao chicken
- Chicken, shrimp, or steak fajitas
Frequently asked questions
Yes! They are very sturdy, making them ideal to freeze whole, diced, sliced, or in rings. However, they will not be as crisp as fresh peppers.
It’s best to remove the seeds and membrane from whole peppers before freezing unless you plan on roasting them whole. It’s much easier to clean when fresh rather than waiting for it to defrost and then prepare it for cooking.
Whole frozen peppers can be stuffed. However, the bake time will need to be increased. The stuffing will be soggier because the moisture will release as the pepper defrosts. To avoid that from happening, defrost the pepper first. Dry any excess juice with a paper towel before stuffing.
Is it better to freeze bell peppers raw or cooked?
Bell peppers do not need to be blanched before freezing. The flavor is well preserved in the sturdy structure. Blanching is done to preserve the color and texture of vegetables, like green beans. However, peppers are about 80% moisture, so they will lose their intense crunchiness. This is because water is released from the expanded cell walls when defrosted. Peppers have a robust fibrous plant structure, so even with moisture loss, they hold their shape.
Pin this recipe to save for laterPin This
How to Freeze Bell Peppers
- 1 bell pepper
- Wash – Rinse the bell pepper under cool running water. Dry with a clean towel.
- Freezing Cut Peppers – Cut the peppers into slices, dice, rings, or pieces. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Place in a single layer and freeze until hardened, about 1 to 2 hours.
- Storing – Immediately transfer the frozen peppers to a plastic freezer bag, silicone bag, glass, or plastic storage container.
- Freezing Whole Peppers – Trim off a ½ inch from the stem end, reserving the top. Use a paring knife to trim the membrane connected to the flesh. Remove the core with your fingers and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Place the top back on, then tightly wrap it in plastic wrap. Transfer to a large plastic bag or container. Store bell pepper halves the same as whole peppers.
- Storing: Freeze for up to 6 months. Best to use in cooked dishes.
- Thaw in the Refrigerator: Thaw for about 1 to 2 hours or overnight.
- Thaw at Room Temperature: Thaw the slices or dice for 15 to 30 minutes or 1 to 2 hours for larger pieces.
- Thaw in Cold Water: Thaw peppers in a plastic bag in a bowl of cold water, changing out the water every 10 minutes.
- Thaw using the Microwave: Use the microwave on 50% power in 30 to 60-second increments until thawed.
Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.
Tried this recipe?
Tag me on Instagram. I'd love to see how it turns out!